Stroud Center Presents New Research to World’s Largest Group of Earth and Space Scientists

800 450 Stroud Water Research Center
Daniel Myers

By Dan Myers, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate

In December, Stroud Water Research Center scientists descended upon the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco. The AGU is the world’s largest organization of Earth and space scientists, with approximately 25,000 attending the conference. Over the years, the Stroud Center has played an integral role in the success of the conference, presenting novel research and organizing scientific sessions and community events.

Research Engineer Shannon Hicks presented original research on how community scientists are using the Stroud Center’s EnviroDIY Monitoring Stations to learn about the quality of their water resources. At the same time, they are making more data available to professional scientists conducting research on threats to the health of freshwater ecosystems. These data can be analyzed and used to inform decision-makers on how best to protect and restore waterways.

Melinda Daniels and Sarmistha Chatterjee at the 2023 AGU Meeting.
During her poster presentation, Melinda Daniels reconnected with her former Ph.D. student Sarmistha Chatterjee, now a senior product engineer at ESRI.

Senior Research Scientist Melinda Daniels, Ph.D., presented the results of important watershed education work that is broadening student participation in fresh water–related careers, particularly those who are learning English as a second language.

Dr. Daniels and I chaired a scientific session about environmental modeling using novel land cover–based techniques. We also presented a poster related to work with the National Park Service that is led by Assistant Research Scientist Diana Oviedo Vargas, Ph.D. This session included exciting new approaches for natural resource investigations in Belize, Japan, Costa Rica, and the United States.

As we humans alter our landscapes and feel the impacts of burning carbon for energy, it’s important that we understand how this impacts the cycling of carbon throughout our environments, so I presented in a session about watershed carbon modeling, where I was also an early career convener.

Scientists listening to a AGU presentation about wildfires impacting fresh water.
Stroud Center scientists attended an exciting presentation about wildfires impacting freshwater resources. Mahsa Khodaee, Ph.D., of The Nature Conservancy presented the research.
Dan Myers presents original Stroud Center research about land cover dynamics and how they impact water quality.
In a large hall with 2,000 posters, Postdoctoral Associate Dan Myers presented original Stroud Center research about land cover dynamics and how they impact water quality. Melinda Daniels, Diana Oviedo, and Yog Aryal of Indiana University Bloomington are coauthors of the research.

Mentoring early-career scientists has become a passion of mine and the AGU in recent years, and at the fall meeting, I had the opportunity to serve as a panelist in a town hall about the soft skills of science. Serendipity struck when I discovered that Amanda Clayton, the NASA Develop coordinator I worked with this summer, was one of my co-panelists.

I also coordinated a large student awards program for the AGU Hydrology Section, collaborating with Jenny Druhan, Ph.D. of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, to ensure the success of the program, which provides vital feedback for 450 student presenters per year.

Four members of the AGU Open Science Circle gathered at the annual meeting.
Myers met with mentors Kristina Vrouwenvelder, Ph.D., (left), Brian Sedora, Ph.D., and Sophie Hanson, Ph.D., of the AGU Open Science Circle, who help train researchers to be more transparent. Photo: AGU Open Science Circle
Conference attendees enjoyed playtime with puppies.
Conference attendees enjoyed playtime with a pen of cute and adoptable puppies.
A stuffed sea lion toy wearing a blue hoodie.
Conference mascot Stella the Sea Lion.

At the meeting, Stroud Center scientists learned about important initiatives the AGU is taking toward making science more transparent and accessible. To everyone’s delight, that included a mental health break featuring a pen of cute puppies, who were there to help us relax and enjoy the conference.

The 2024 AGU Fall Meeting next December will be in Washington, D.C. Be on the lookout for more Stroud Center events and programs there!

Support the Advancement of Freshwater Science
By attending and participating in national conferences like the AGU Fall Meeting, Stroud Center scientists can share important research with the broader scientific community, be inspired by the work of other scientists, and mentor the next generation of freshwater scientists. This helps advance new discoveries that help protect our shared waters. However, our involvement in conferences isn’t free. To help the Stroud Center share its knowledge of streams and rivers and support future scientists, donate today.